The candidates for the 94th House of Delegates seat, Democrat Gary West and Republican David Yancey, squared off Friday evening in Newport News. The forum was sponsored by the Virginia Peninsula MAL League of Women Voters and The Daily Press. Moderating the forum was Press editorial page editor John Fredericks.
The 94th is an open seat, made so by the retirement earlier this year of longtime representative, Del. Glenn Oder. Once again, the voters have a clear choice between two candidates who would like to represent them.
West demonstrated a better grasp of the issues than did Yancey, not unexpected given his run against Oder in 2009. Yancey, who considers Oder his mentor, mentioned Oder so often that it prompted West to comment, “Let me remind everyone that Glenn Oder is not on the ballot.”
There were a couple of things – well, more than a couple, but I’ll stick with these two – that bothered me about Yancey. If he is cut from the same cloth as Oder, he should be willing to acknowledge that Oder didn’t get it right the first time on pay day lending, either. I’m glad Oder saw the light and ultimately supported a cap on the interest charged on these loans. Oder was, in my opinion, a moderate Republican. I saw nothing in Yancey to make me think he’ll be a moderate.
Which brings me to my second gripe. Yancey kept waving around a list of bills that he said passed the House and were signed into law by the governor. Either Yancey doesn’t know that both the House and the Senate have to pass a bill before the governor can sign it – which would disqualify him for office – or he deliberately chose to ignore the Senate because Democrats are in control there, and passage of legislation requires bipartisan support.
The election is November 8th. More information about the candidates can be found in this Voter Guide, produced by the LW (pdf).
Video of the debate can be seen here.